Space roundup

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sent back pictures of the Aristarchus crater, with some nice detail from a low-altitude pass. The lighter rocks thrown by the impact are underlying crust most likely composed of anorthositic (highland) rocks or possibly granite. The darker rocks are basalt. (click to embiggen)

The white arrows mark where this panorama was taken.

The Sun ended 2011 and started 2012 with a fair amount of activity, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Space ‘splodey?


Last item, sadly, Boeing decided to close its Wichita plant. This will have some political blowback from the Kansas legislators who fought for Boeing versus EADS and are understandably upset to see the jobs go elsewhere. I’m not sure how this will affect building military tankers, but a piece of space history will be going away. The curved bulkheads of the fuel and oxidizer tanks for the first stage of the Saturn V rocket were made in Wichita.

The large tooling needed for the S-IC was made in Wichita and sent to Michoud, LA for the manufacturing.

1 thought on “Space roundup”

  1. I was in Elementary school in Oregon when the initial probes were sent to the moon to take photos of possible landing sites for the later manned missions. Optics have improved immensely since then and the pic above shows it.

    The Wichita Boeing plant is a truly storied place, almost as much as the original plant in Seattle. As I recall, most of the B-52s were built at Wichita. Sad to see it go. I predict there will be more aerospace shut downs as the Obummer eviscerates the military.

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